Lakers set three meet records, sweep SVSU
The Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams came into the meet at Saginaw Valley State University as the odds-on favorites, and they performed like it.
The GVSU squads bested their archrival with 19 event victories as the No. 2 Laker women came away with an 81-54 win while the No. 4 Laker men broke three meet records on their way to an 85-54 triumph.
“It was a great overall performance from our entire team,” GVSU senior Lisa Galasso said. “Coach Baltes always says that you can’t hide out within the crowd in dual meets, that you have to get after it. We did a good job in doing just that.”
GVSU dismantled No. 20 SVSU on the women’s side with nine event victories and proved to be too much to handle in the running events. The Lakers recorded first-place finishes in the 60-, 200- and 400-meter dashes as well as the 800-meter run.
The team certainly appears to be coming together at the right time in the season.
“Our performance was really a testament to how well we have been working in practice,” sophomore Laura Schroeder said. “If you look across the board, everyone is doing their job. We understand it takes a collective effort.”
GVSU did have to overcome a scary moment in the meet after one of its seniors went down with an injury.
Kalena Franklin was unable to finish the day after taking a spill in the 60-meter hurdles, along with Cardinal freshman Tierra Williams.
“She took a bad fall and was spiked up a bit, which didn’t allow her to finish the meet,” head coach Jerry Baltes said of Franklin. “Hopefully she will be ready to go next week. She’s one of our leaders on this team. It would hurt to miss her.”
The Laker women notched both of their provisional marks in the weight throw competition with a 1-2 finish from Schroeder (18.28 meters) and senior Alyssa Zokoe (17.29 meters).
GVSU dominated on the men’s side with some big performances particularly in the field events, where the Lakers took home five first-place finishes.
Junior Trent Chappell set a meet record in the high jump (2.10 meters), senior Bret Meyers did the same in the pole vault (5.00 meters), and junior Nathan Fraeyman followed suit in the long jump (6.94 meters).
The Lakers also got provisional marks from freshman Chris Saikalis in the shot put (17.04 meters), sophomore Jay Lechner in the weight throw (17.59 meters), senior Tendo Lukwago in the high jump (2.05 meters), and sophomore Sean Wells in the 60-meter hurdles (8.25).
“It’s exciting when you have that much success in the field events; the kids really stepped up for us,” Baltes said. “It was great for them to build some confidence at this point in the season.
“All in all, I’m really pleased with how we performed today on the road. It was a great opportunity for us to get more practice on a 200-meter track, which we will see later (in the season).”
The team will now turn its focus toward the GVSU 5-way, which will be held inside the Kelly Family Sports Center on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Hillsdale College, Lewis University, St. Joseph’s College and Lincoln University.